Hearthstone - Collectable Card Game
Welcome to the Tavern
Hearthstone is one of the world's most popular strategy-based card games, with almost 100 million players playing the game in every corner of the globe. The annual world championships offer up an eye-watering $500,000 prize pool to the game's best players, but millions are up for grabs at other events too.
Hearthstone is based on the Warcraft series of video games and sees two players facing off against each other. Using a deck of 30 cards, each player send creatures into battle in a bid to attack their opponent and take their life total down to 0 to win the game. Meanwhile, spells and weapons can help boost attacks and defend against an opponent.
Players build decks using cards from the most recent sets of cards in the Standard format, and cards from throughout the game's history in the Wild format. Every so often, cards are selected to enter the Hall of Fame, which retires them from play and removes them from the game, but there's no set date or schedule for when that happens.
Getting Started in Hearthstone
If Hearthstone sounds like the kind of game you'd like to start playing, you'll need to sign up for a free Blizzard account. After signing up, if you want to play on a desktop PC or a laptop, all you need to do is download the Blizzard Launcher so you can install the game. Once the game finishes installing, you'll be ready to play!
If you'd rather play Hearthstone on a mobile, you'll need to download the game from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store - it's free on both platforms, which is a bonus! Once the app's installed, launch the game and you'll be playing before you know it.
Whichever way you choose to play, your collection of cards and in-game progress are both saved, so you can always switch between devices and pick up where you left off. Jam some games on the PC and then settle down on the sofa with your mobile... perfect!
Start Playing Hearthstone
When you first start playing, the game takes you through a guided tutorial and because the game is pretty simple to play, you'll pick up the basics in no time at all. The Hearthstone tutorial is easily one of the best of all the card games, so you'll have a great foundation!
As you play games, you'll earn coins and free packs for completing challenges - known as quests. You'll be given a new quest to complete every day, but if you don't like the look of it, you can refresh it for a different one. The coins you earn on the quests can be traded in for packs of cards, or cosmetic items, and the packs can be cracked open to help you build your collection and improve your decks. If you want to take a shortcut, you can always buy packs with real-world money too.
If you have cards in your collection that you don't want, you can trade them away for dust and then spend that dust on cards you do want. Cracking packs, trading away cards, and then trading into new cards is the best way to build new decks to play.
Improve Your Skills
The beauty of Hearthstone is in its simplicity, but you might find the real excitement is in mastering the game. Some players find their niche in sticking with a certain style of play and mastering that, while others focus on strategies with high win rate percentages. There's no 'right way' to play the game - as long as you're enjoying playing, you're winning!
Once you've been playing Hearthstone a little while though, and have a few games under your belt, you'll probably be looking for ways to improve your skills. Playing games in the casual arena is a great place to hone your skills before moving onto playing ranked games and testing yourself in the heat of battle. It's worth saying that Rome wasn't built in a day, so plenty of practice and patience will go a long way. You don't rush or push yourself to be better all the time - it takes some time to get a really good grip of the game.
As you start to become a more experienced and confident player, you'll start diving into deck-building strategies. Hearthstone Top Decks and HearthPwn are great resources to find out what the best performing decks are in different formats, while HSReplay is brilliant at going into depth on data. Figuring out how decks work is a really good way to become better at playing against them, so even if you're not looking to build a new deck, knowing what else is out there can be a way of winning more games!
The Hearthstone community are a welcoming bunch, on the whole, and players regularly share their deck lists and play guides on social media sites like Twitter and Reddit. Well-known players like TrumpSC posts deck-focused and gameplay videos on his YouTube channel regularly, so that's another great place to learn more about the game and brush up your skills.